SEATTLE (AP) — Federal authorities are seeking to auction off silver goblets, snakeskin coats, a dozen guns and hundreds of gold coins seized from a former Yelm couple who have been extradited to Romania to face tax evasion charges.
Seattlepi.com reports prosecutors filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court last week seeking permission to sell the property.
Radu and Diana Nemes were returned to their native Romania from Yelm, following their March arrest. They’re accused of conspiring to avoid paying $68 million in taxes on sales of diesel fuel.
Investigators found an underground bunker when they searched the couple’s properties in Yelm. They say the couple used laundered money to pay for a $3 million log home while running shell businesses in Washington.
It’s not clear whether the couple intends to fight the government’s efforts.
Seattlepi.com reported that federal investigators searched several properties belonging to the Nemeses in March.
Investigators say Radu and Diana Nemes, 38, used laundered money to pay for a $3 million log home while running shell businesses in Washington. Neither was charged in the United States.
The website reported that the Nemeses left hundreds of gold and silver coins on their 53-acre Yelm property, which included an underground bunker.
The Nemeses are alleged to have spent millions in laundered money on construction equipment, gold and real estate, as well as at least one yacht. Diana Nemes’ attorney told authorities the alleged scheme was a legitimate tax dispute and said the money at issue was earned legally.
Among the items seized during the authorities’ search was a single gold coin stamped with the words “Ramtha Gold Wisdom.” Investigators say the Nemeses were involved in a fringe religious group based in Yelm whose founder contends she channels the spirit of “Ramtha.”
Federal prosecutors are seeking a court order that would allow the U.S. Marshals Service to auction off the seized items.
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